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Table of contents Chapter 20 20.12 tener que, (no) hace falta que

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Chapter 20: Modal verbs (Auxiliaries)

  20.12 tener que, (no) hace falta que

In English to need can be used as a full verb or also as a modal verb.

  To need as a full verb

I need three kilos of rice. = Necesito tres kilos de arroz.

To need as full verb is in Spanish necesitar.

  need as modal verb in English

I need to buy new shoes.
I need to go to the toilet.

In Spanish there is no modal verb need. Necesitar can be used as modal verb. If you want to express the need to do something it can be done with hace falta.

  need as modal verb

I need to buy new shoes. = Hace falta que compro nuevos zapatos.
I need to go to my parent's house. = Hace falta que voy a la casa de mis padres.

When constructing negative clauses like you do not need to buy new shoes every week, which is actually the same as you do not have to buy shoes every week. The Spanish use either no hace falta or tener que.

  Example: negative clauses

No tengo que nadar. = No hace falta que nade.
= I do not have to swim. = I do not need to swim.
No tengo que decírselo. = No hace falta que se lo diga.
= I do not have to swim. = I do not need to swim.
No tiene que hacerlo si no quiere. = No hace falta que lo haga.
= He doesn't have to do it, if he doesn't want to. = He doesn't need to do it.


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